March is often associated with the holiday, St. Patrick’s Day.
This holiday was first celebrated in the U.S. on March 17, 1737, honoring the Irish patron saint, St. Patrick. The holiday was organized by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston and included a feast and a religious ceremony. The celebrations are Irish culture themed and typically consist of wearing green, parades, eating and drinking.
People all over the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially places with large Irish-American communities. Feasting on the day features traditional Irish food, including corned beef, corned cabbage, coffee, soda bread, potatoes, and shepherd’s pie. Many other common dishes are Irish breakfasts of sausage, black and white pudding, fried eggs, and fried tomatoes.
More St. Patty’s Day Trivia:
- The color of the day should really be blue
Saint Patrick’s color was actually “Saint Patrick’s blue,” a light shade. The color green only became associated with the day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century.
- St. Patrick was British
Although he made his mark by introducing Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late fourth century.
St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal to the Irish
Saint Patrick’s Day is a huge deal where he came from. It’s a national holiday in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. New York and Chicago also have really large St. Patty’s Day celebrations.
- It used to be a dry holiday
Saint Patrick’s Day was considered a strictly religious holiday in Ireland for most of the 20th century, which meant that the nation’s pubs, or bars were closed on March 17. The one exception went to beer vendors at the big national dog show, which was always held on Saint Patrick’s Day. In 1970, the day was converted to a national holiday, and the alcohol ban was lifted.
- There is meaning behind the shamrocks
According to Irish legend, the saint used the three-leafed shamrock plant as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was first introducing Christianity to Ireland.
- There’s no corn in Cornbeef
Corned beef and cabbage doesn’t have anything to do with the grain corn. Instead, it’s a reference to the large grains of salt that were used to cure meats, which were also known as “corns.”
It could have been named St. Maewyn’s Day
According to Irish legend, Saint Patrick wasn’t originally called Patrick. His birth name was Maewyn Succat, but he changed his name to Patricius after becoming a priest.
- The Irish phrases have meaning, too
You can’t attend a Saint Patrick’s Day event without hearing a cry of “Erin go Bragh.” It’s a corruption of the Irish Éirinn go Brách, which means “Ireland Forever.”
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